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Oil Speculation: The Enemy Of The Pump

1121 words - 4 pages

Over the last five to seven years, the American people have had to pay outrageous prices at the gas pumps, wildly fluctuating from under $2.00 a gallon or less to paying $4.00 a gallon or even higher for gasoline. This issue of paying unreasonable and unpredictable prices at the pump comes from the higher prices of oil. Most will say that oil prices fluctuate so because of conflicts in the Middle East or due to shortages of oil, but the simple reason of the oil prices go up so high is because of oil speculation. Oil speculation is the single greatest problem of higher gas prices further causing more economic problems and compounding living for the middle and lower class individuals and families. The economical truth is that speculation is not a necessary thing. In fact, it inhibits the economic growth of the nation and will either stifle or completely suppress any economic growth or recovery. The solution to this problem is essential to the survival of the future of the United States’ economy and industrialization.
Oil speculation is based on the future demand of oil supplies and on current world events. Basically, what it means is that if a crisis in a region where most of the current oil supply is produced or exported (the Middle East), and then the price of gasoline over in the western world will go up. Currently, the civil war in Libya as well as other uprisings in the Middle East, have contributed to prices increasing from up from a pre- revolution low of $2.50 a gallon to the average of $ 3.57 a gallon over a period of a few months. This increase has been attributed to the conflict in Libya and other countries, currently engaged in political upheaval. Libya only produces two percent of the world’s oil supply, which is almost non-existent in comparison to the oil output of the United States. Another point is that Libya’s oil trades go to Europe, not the United States. So why is oil that the United States is not even receiving, causing gas prices to further escalate? Speculators raise oil prices if a situation arises or the rumblings of a potential situation, even if there are no clear connections to the actual oil supply. This clearly impacts the economy not only in the United States but worldwide and deeply affects the consumer, whether here or abroad, financially.
Where does the United States receive the majority of its oil import supply from? Most people would think the Middle East; however the majority comes from Canada, who is ranked first, Mexico which is second and Saudi Arabia third. As the United States Department of Energy reports, based on December 2010 statistics, the United States receives 2,064 barrels of crude Oil a day from Canada, 1,223 from Mexico, 1,076 from Saudi Arabia, and 1,024 from Nigeria which by the way is in Africa, and not the Middle East (USDOE). According to oil speculators, if a crisis emerges in the Middle East such as a Libya or other country, the price of oil will go up to all time...

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